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Farallon Islands Web cam

One of the many things that I have learned by following the California Academy of Sciences on Twitter is that the Academy, in partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and PRBO Conservation Science has installed a Web camera on the Farallon Islands, a national wildlife refuge just outside the San Francisco Bay.

We in the Bay Area use the Farallon Islands (or Farallones) as an atmospheric clarity test. The islands lay 27 miles (43.5 km) outside the Golden Gate and are visible on very clear days from the mainland, even from the top of Mount Diablo (1, 2).

Since most of the humans who are allowed to set foot on the Farallones are of the “wildlife biologist” and “land manager” subspecies :-) , most of us will never get to go there personally.

Which is why the Web cam is such a cool idea…!

The Northern Farallones were originally granted protection by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1909. Prior to this protection, human demand for fur, oil, and meat devastated the elephant seal and fur seal populations. Human demand for Murre eggs reduced the Common Murre population to a few thousand. Today the Farallon Islands are further protected by the Marine Life Protection Act, and the islands are also a state marine conservation area.

The biological diversity of the Farallon Islands and the productivity from coastal upwelling make the islands well worth protecting.

Anyone can “drive” the camera. Take your turn at the “wheel.”


-Bill at Cheshire Cat Photo™

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